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A Quick Trip to Antelope Island State Park in Utah


Whenever my husband and I have free time, we like spending time doing activities together, such as hiking or taking day trips.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

My husband and I recently went on a half-day trip to Antelope Island State Park, located west of the town of Layton and about 41 miles north of Salt Lake City. Accessed by a causeway, the island is surrounded by hills and water. It sits in the Great Salt Lake and features free-roaming bison and antelope herds. We left early in the morning so we could explore as much as possible.

In this article, I'll share a few tips about visiting the island, as well as some details and photos of its main attractions.

Tips and Information for Visiting

During the hot and warm seasons, especially summer, there are a lot of bugs on the island. As you're driving along the road, you will see the insects zipping by the front and side windows of your car. So if you're coming during the warm months, you should be prepared with proper attire (e.g., a head net and long sleeves/pants), and you might want to consider bringing bug spray.

Northern Utah experiences dryness, especially in July and August, when the temperature regularly hits the 90s. For a pleasant time to travel here, I would recommend fall or spring.

There is an entrance fee to enter the island. The charge is as stated below:

  • $15 Day-Use per Vehicle
  • $10 Day-Use for Utah Senior Residents
  • $3 Cyclists and Pedestrians
  • $75 Annual Day-Use Pass (causeway pass is separate)
  • $35 Senior Adventure (annual) Pass

Popular Activities on Antelope Island

The island offers many popular activities, such as scenic drives and bike rides. My husband and I enjoyed a scenic drive on the island, and we stopped at a few locations to hike. There are easy and moderate trails you can do here. We recommend Buffalo Point Trailhead, Frary Peak Trail, and the Lakeside Trail.

Some other popular activities you might want to consider are:

  • Horseback riding
  • Cycling
  • Paddling
  • Sailing
  • Historic sites
  • Birding and wildlife viewing
  • Camping
We spotted this huge bison in a field.

We spotted this huge bison in a field.

Wildlife and Natural Panoramas

The main attractions on the island are the wildlife and the beautiful landscape. The causeway is a wonderful place to see shorebirds and sea birds. You may experience some funky air (rotten-egg smell) if you leave your car for a few quick photos. The smell comes from hydrogen sulfide gas. A road to the state park on Antelope Island keeps the wastewater from flowing out of the bay, and its shallow depth amplifies the smell as wind moves across the bay, creating waves that bring the gas to the surface.

We were lucky to see a herd of bison wandering on the island, including some standing and lying in the saltwater on the beaches. It was mesmerizing. We hiked up a nearby hill and sat down on the rock to admire the panoramas of the island. It was very windy that day; I remember we had a hard time staying upright.

I managed to take a photo of the bison on the field from my car. If you're driving on the island, be very vigilant as the bison is very fast. It is advised to not approach them near if you want to take photos.

Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to observe any antelope.

A Great Experience!

Antelope Island State Park is a great place for an adventure. You get to see the local wildlife and take in the beautiful, inviting landscape, making it an excellent activity for outdoor lovers. We were mesmerized by the tranquil and picturesque landscape.

Overall, our experiences on the island were splendid. However, it seems a half-day trip to the island was not enough for us. We want to come back for camping and horseback riding in the future.

Antelope Island State Park, Utah

© 2020 Liza


Liza (author) from USA on November 23, 2020:

Hi Penny, it was! We had a great time on the island. It's definitely a must visited place in Utah. Thank you for commenting.

Penny Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on November 21, 2020:

This looks lovely! Thank you for sharing!

Liza (author) from USA on November 11, 2020:

It is Sp Greaney. We had a fantastic day on the island. During this time, being outdoor is a great thing to do. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 11, 2020:

It looks like it would be a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Liza (author) from USA on November 11, 2020:

The experience of witnessing the wildlife animal was just breathtaking. I definitely feel small watching the herd of bison wandering.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 10, 2020:

This looks like a nice wildlife haven albeit a stinky paradise thanks to the human element (the wastewater that feeds the algae). I’d love to see the bison.

Liza (author) from USA on November 10, 2020:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Liz. I really appreciate it.

Liza (author) from USA on November 10, 2020:

You're welcome, Peggy. Aah, I wish you have stopped there. The landscape, the beaches, the wildlife on the island were the main attractions of this incredible place. We did a lot of hiking that day, and we had a great time admiring the beautiful island. However, I wanted to go back camping.

Liza (author) from USA on November 10, 2020:

I guess I am very lucky. The island is so mesmerizing and breathtaking. Like I mentioned in the article, a half-day trip is not enough, and we want to go back there for sure. Thank you for commenting, Linda.

Liza (author) from USA on November 10, 2020:

Hi Cristina, you're most welcome and thank you for taking the time to read and leaving comment on the post. The island is absolutely gorgeous.

Cristina Vanthul from Florida on November 10, 2020:

What a beautiful park! Thanks for sharing your adventure there.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 10, 2020:

Thanks for sharing your experiences and the lovely photos, Liza. You're lucky to live near this park. I'd love to see it myself.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 10, 2020:

We have visited Salt Lake City and drove by the smelly Salt Lake. Looking at the map, Antelope Island appears to be a peninsula rather than an island surrounded by water. It would be fun to see free-roaming animals. Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences with us.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 10, 2020:

This is a well-illustrated and interesting guide.

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